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Harare proposes road levy

by Staff reporter
05 Apr 2021 at 16:58hrs | Views
THE Harare City Council (HCC) plans to introduce a road levy for residents as the local authority seeks to raise funds to rehabilitate its dilapidated road network.

This comes after the HCC Department of Works noted that the $530 million allocated for road projects in the 2021 council budget falls far short of the required $2,5 billion.

This also comes after Harare was only able to rehabilitate 1,1km of roads in 2020, saying it had received very little funds from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).

Zinara collects a road levy from all motorists in the country and then allocates the funds for road repairs and other use to local authorities according to the number of registered vehicles in each city.

The authority allocated $437 638 124 to Harare for road rehabilitation this year while the council raised
$92 775 000.

According to recent council minutes, acting director of Works Gerald Mutume recommended the imposition of a road levy to help the council repair the badly pot-holed roads in the capital, among other strategies.

"The committee noted the challenges faced by the division as well as the strategies, which were to continue to lobby Zinara and the Finance ministry for more funding.  

"Introduce a road levy for residents, ring fence the money and utilise it to repair roads.

"Utilisation of money from City Parking and Harare Quarry on road maintenance activities and full implementation of HCC/Harare Quarry agreement on materials supply.  

"Ring fencing revenue collected from billboards, trenching, design approval fees, signs and gravel sales to fund road maintenance," Mutume said.

Besides lack of funds stalling road rehabilitation efforts, HCC is also facing a delay in supply of raw materials from suppliers despite having paid.  

"Harare Quarry had been paid $2 795 245,20 from the March 2020 disbursement for the supply 600 tonnes but managed to supply 200 tonnes of premix valued at $931 748,40 and failed to supply 400 tonnes worth $863 496,80," noted Mutume.

In proposing the road rehabilitation levy, Harare is taking a cue from its Chitungwiza counterparts.  

In its 2021 budget, the Chitungwiza Municipality imposed a road levy, which has been met with fierce resistance from the residents.

The residents say that this will be double taxation as they already pay a road levy to Zinara.

Source - dailynews

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